Aligning the Heart and Mind

The Boy family is moving back to Florida, so this Father’s Day weekend we went house hunting around the New Tampa, Brandon, and Welsey Chapel area, with palm trees galore.  How exciting, right? No!

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It hasn’t even been a year since we moved to Georgia and we only closed on our current house seven months ago!

Needless to say, I’m not looking forward to all the paper work of relocating and starting over again.

When my husband first told me about his job opportunity, we took a week to pray about it before making the decision. Mentally, I knew the right decision was for my husband to take the offer, but my heart was not in agreement.

I personally had no desire to move back to Florida. My husband’s company relocated us to North Georgia in July and I fell in love! Here we have seasons. Fall isn’t just a word you describe to your kids and show them pictures online of how the leaves change, but you are able to experience it firsthand. The leaves actually turn gorgeous shades of caramel, strawberry red, and a golden yellow. Beyond the seasons, our entire family is plugged into an amazing church. The girls have had opportunities to sing on a worship team and be a part of a Christmas production.  We also found a beautiful homeschool group where the kids have found sweet friends to hang out with weekly. Does God really want us to move?

Well, I was expecting a stir of excitement when we went down to Florida, but that didn’t happen, at all! For three days we looked at pretty houses and nice lots, but nothing inside me said, “yay!” To be totally honest I felt a sense of depression at times, numb, speechless, and could care less!

My wonderful husband was taking my “vibes” (if you want to say), personally. He wanted me to be happy and he could see I wasn’t.

Last night he prayed about our move and our future. He then wrapped me up tight and prayed for me personally. After he stepped away, the tears streamed down my cheeks and I heard God say, “It’s time to move!” Not once, but three times, I heard God speak directly to my heart, “It’s time to move!” He knows I’ve been stubborn in this area and He didn’t want to leave room for me to question. For the first time, I felt peace, I felt my heart let go.

Afterwards, a memory came to mind of when I was little playing with my cousins, at my Mema’s house, and my Dad would stand up and say, “It’s time to go!” I automatically knew, I wouldn’t get another five minutes to play even if I asked. When my dad said it’s time to go, he meant it and I knew it! There was no room for doubt or pity parties. My mind, heart, and emotions would snap into place and I would leave my Mema’s house with my head up and a smile on my face. I can now say the same about Georgia, my mind, heart, and emotions have snapped into place, my head is high, and there’s a smile on my face because Father God said, “It’s time to Move!”

Thank you, God, for giving me peace about this new adventure. I pray for all my sweet friends out there that may be facing difficult times or big changes and their hearts are not in agreement. I pray you soften their hearts to hear your voice and I pray that you will give them peace today.  In Jesus name, Amen.

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Okay, God, I hear you! 

Have you ever heard the phrases, “God will never give you more than you can handle” or “He’ll always provide an escape from your temptation?” Well, I have a new one, “He’ll never let me sit in my self-pity for long before putting things into perspective.”
Without fail, every time I start feeling overwhelmed or even in a state of emotional self-pity, God paints a picture to put things into perspective!

Last year we had some issues with the closing of our house. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen and I felt very overwhelmed to the point it started affecting me emotionally. The truth is, I wasn’t trusting God! Anyways, as the kids were playing at the park I noticed a beautiful little girl, with no hair, on a swing. As I looked closer, I saw her mom pushing her on the swing. The mom and the girl were laughing and enjoying that sunny day. The mom wasn’t sitting on a bench pouting about her daughter having cancer; no she was seizing the moments she had with her daughter! My heart dropped and tears followed down my cheeks! Okay, God, I hear you!

Then just a few months ago I was having another “moment”. I was stressed over a money situation that went wrong because of a miscommunication with Southwest. I was so frustrated and my outward appearance was showing it. I was short with my kids and I felt yet stressed again! As I stood in line to return something at Target, another beautiful girl, without any hair, caught my eye! She was smiling big as she looked up at her dad walking beside her. Again, tears filled my eyes! Okay, God, I hear you!

For almost two weeks my kids have had the flu! The first week the girls had it and now my little guy has it. I haven’t been able to do much around the house because of their sickness and they are behind on schoolwork, which stresses me out! Today I dropped the girls off at their co-op by themselves, I know they are in good hands, but they aren’t my hands. It’s hard for me to ask for help from others, especially when it comes to my crew. I personally feel like they are my full responsibility, but their brother is sick and he can’t be around other kids. As I dropped them off my heart started pounding. I began to pray for them and for myself. I felt totally overwhelmed and stressed to the max. As I was texting my dad, he reminded me of my cousin that just had brain surgery for the second time in only a few months and he hasn’t woke up yet. At that second, I felt all anxiety leave! Okay, God, I hear you!

I share these stories to say, life is never easy, there are terrible days, but it could always be worse! God doesn’t want us to sit and dwell on ourselves; nothing good can come out of that. He wants us to pray and give it to him, then go and help someone else. To experience freedom from self-pity, stress, and anxiety, we have to take our eyes off our current situation and ourselves! And we need to ask ourselves, “do we trust God?” When we fully trust him, we can exhale and know He has our back and He will work it out!

Thank you, God, for loving me so much that you interrupt my self-pity and paint just the right picture to put things into perspective!

Today, I want to lift up every child with cancer and every parent that is watching their child fight this terrible disease. And specifically for my cousin, who is in the hospital right now! I pray you heal his body and wake him up! In Jesus Name! Amen!

Is your purse empty? 

Last week my husband brought home a wonderful surprise for me, a Kate Spade gift set. The set included a sleek, black, leather wallet and a chevron print phone cover. I quickly asked, “how much was it?” You see I don’t like for people to spend money on me. My sweet husband explained to me there was a promotion going on at work and he got it for free. Wow! I don’t know who Kate Spade is, but I love free gifts. Later I realized Kate Spade is actually a well known designer. Well, I need a new purse to go with my fancy wallet now, you see this wallet won’t fit in my current purse, plus if I was going carry around a Kate Spade wallet now, I need to have a name brand purse to go with it. So the following day I went shopping. I found a MK tote from TJ Maxx, it wasn’t full price, but it wasn’t cheap either. After a few days of carrying it around, I felt guilty. We are in the process of buying a new house and we need to be wise with our money, also, there are tons of other things I could spend that money on, so I returned it. 

The day after returning it, I went out looking for a purse again, I was on a mission. I spent an hour and a half between three different stores. Looking up and down the aisle, pushing purses left and right to see what was behind them. Even taking pictures with name brand purses like MK and Kate Spade, so I could send them to my mom and get her opinion. After searching and looking for what seemed like hours (my poor kids), I left! This was ridiculous! As I drove off toward my next errand, I felt like a spoiled brat, I was frustrated and pouty because I couldn’t find “the purse” I wanted one.

That night after cleaning up from dinner I got on the computer and started looking again, yes again! I was trying to find deals, but the prices were still in the hundreds! Finally, something said look at H&M. I found the perfect solid black purse, under $30 (after my discount)! Now that’s something I can buy!

As I laid down that night I started thinking about how much people feed the “brand” name, just hashtag brand names on Instagram! They also spend hundreds of dollars on the outward appearance from clothes to makeup and hours grooming themselves from manicures to hair treatment. But how much time do we spend investing on the inner self? I spent hours looking for a stupid purse that had the outer appearance altogether…it was cute, expensive, trendy, and had the hashtag liketoknow.it all over it, but none of that matters if the purse is empty inside because you invested all your money on the outward appearance. Who cares what clothes you wear, handbags you carry, and shoes you strut, if you have nothing inside that’s worth any kind of substance? 

Don’t get me wrong, if you have the money and you want to give me a name brand purse, I will gladly take it…lol. No, really if you have the money, fine. Also, I’m not saying there is anything wrong with getting your hair colored and your nails painted, I actually have an appointment on Thursday to get my roots done! I just want to encourage you to not get wrapped up in the outward appearance. For in 1 Samuel 16:7 it says, “The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Yeah, you might look real cute for your Instagram pic, but is your purse empty? 

Prayer: Lord, may our character speak louder than our wardrobes. Help us Father, to focus our attention on what pleases you, rather than be concerned about how many followers and likes we have on social media. Search our hearts and guide us in your truth. In Jesus Name, Amen

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

Facing Fear with a Thankful Heart

img_1041Overwhelmed is not even the word to described the feeling that came over me this morning! It was the first day of Classical Conversation (basically a homeschool co-op)! Lunches and backpacks were packed the day before, fingernails were painted, and outfits were ironed. I had us set up for success, or so I thought.

My oldest woke up with a headache for the third day in a row. No worries, I knew what to do. I quickly measured out her Motrin and prayed it worked! Ten minutes later she was up and ready to start her day, Thank God! Things were going well…two of the kids were finishing up their cereal and the other two were getting dressed. As we went to gather our things to leave, my oldest went down to the floor! The excruciating pain had come back to her head and this time she couldn’t open her eyes or walk. I ran to the cabinet to now measure out some Tylenol, again praying the medicine would work. Finally, we were able to get everyone to the car. The sky was blue and there was no traffic, which is always a miracle when driving around the Atlanta area!

We pulled into Church where we were to meet the group, ten minutes early at that! I prayed over the kids and their nerves before getting out of the car. Everyone was stoked that this day had finally come!

As we walked in the building there are women and kids everywhere! We followed one family down a hall, but we had no idea where each of the their classrooms were. With kids running around us everything started to spin! Right about the time I was going to ask for some help, I heard a bell! They were calling all of us to gather in a small hallway to listen to the announcements and upcoming events. As we stood there listening, my oldest started crying, I asked if her head was hurting.

“Just a little,” she said.

I asked her while looking at her sweet face, “Then why are you crying?”

“Because I don’t want to go to class, she replied as her voice cracked.”

Meanwhile as this conversation is going on, my four year old is wrapped around my leg, begging me to stay with him!

I felt helpless! There is only one of me and four of them!

img_1046The group dismissed in prayer and tutors started walking to their classrooms with their students behind them. They were naming the tutors so quickly I couldn’t catch who was a tutor and who was a parent. So again I stood there with all my little ones looking at me for guidance, and I was lost.
Thankfully, a mom saw my frantic face and offered to assist me. First we dropped off Kayla, next was Victoria. When we made it to Josiah’s room the parents and kids were already sitting down introducing themselves! Then here we come disrupting the tutor, walking in a few minutes late! I encouraged Josiah to take a seat so I could go talk to his sister, but he wouldn’t let go of me! He had a grip on me like an alligator on a hippo in the Savannah! So here we go again disrupting the class to leave. As I walked out with my leach, I calmly said, “it’s his first time in a classroom setting, please give us some grace.” With that I walked out grabbing my daughter’s hand and jetting straight to the bathroom!

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I couldn’t hold back the tears! I knew my daughter didn’t want to be in her class, but I wouldn’t allow fear to paralyze her. She needed to be strong! Even though I knew this, it didn’t make it easier on me, mama. You better believe I wanted to wrap her up and drive away from that church as fast as I could, but that wouldn’t help her to grow, it wouldn’t help her to face her fears.

Three seconds after entering my safe haven place, the bathroom, the director walked in! I had never met her in person, I had only spoke to her on the phone and through a few emails. She asked if I was okay. “No! I feel overwhelmed, I said.” As tears ran down my cheeks.

“I know I haven’t met you, but can I hug you, she asked?”

In which I replied, “yes!”

Let me tell you there is nothing better than a hug! The human touch is so powerful and healing!

After sharing with her a little in the bathroom, Alayna came out of the stall tearless! I encouraged her that she could do this.

We went to her class and tok a seat in the back of the room. She was able to warm up and relax at the same time. A few hours passed and it was snack time. I was able to motivate her to move her chair to the table with the rest of the kids. She finished the day strong, answering questions and participating in games with her classmates.

As for Josiah, he didn’t give a presentation like all the other kids, but he did listen and learned he must raise his hand if he wants to make a comment.

I cannot say it enough, God is stretching our family! We were so comfortable in our happy little lives that growth was a joke and dependence on him was pretty much nonexistent!

When we lift weights, we make small tears in our muscles which usually brings on pain and soreness, but after awhile our muscles heal and we become stronger. Our family is spiritually working out, we feel sore and we are experiencing pain at times, but I know God is also healing and strengthening us and for that, I AM THANKFUL!
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Christianity Is Not About Rules

If I was asked to sum up Christianity in one word, what would it be? Well, I would choose a four letter word, L-O-V-E, LOVE.

People, the church and religion has complicated Jesus!

I have four beautiful kids. Each time I gave birth, the nurse would put my sweet baby in my right arm and a large rule book in the other arm…no, not really. The nurse didn’t need to give me a rule book of do’s and don’t’s.

You see, when she placed my baby girls and my baby boy in my arms, I instantly felt LOVE. I wanted to be the best mom possible for them.  As I looked in their eyes, the love was so strong, at that moment I knew my life wasn’t my own. From that point on, my life was their’s! I was there to protect and guide them.

Is it required to have a rule book to be a parent? NO, but I now wanted all the information I could get my hands on to help me raise my children! Why, because I love them. Parents that truly love their children are constantly asking advice from doctors, other moms, and family members. They spend time reading books and blogs on parenting, terrible twos, potty training, teenage years, etc…that’s because when we love, we give our best to those we love.

How many of us take our kids to sports practice, dance class, piano lessons etc. multiple times a week or even drive an hour or two to their event every weekend? Why do we do it?  We do it because we love them, we will go the distance for those we love.

That goes the same for our relationship with God. When we ask Jesus into our life, we are instantaneously filled with LOVE. We quickly realize our life is not our own, but God’s. We don’t need a church to give us a list of do’s and don’t’s, but because we love Jesus with all our heart we want to read all we can about Him. When we love Him, we long to spend time with Him in prayer, talking to Him. You desire to build a close relationship with Him and when you deeply love Him, you never want to leave Him. You will possibly find yourself driving 40 to 50 minutes to church, three to four times a week…why, because you love Him.

To be a Christian is not complicated at all. Love God with all your heart, soul, and mind and the rest will follow.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. ~Deuteronomy 6:5

 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. ~Matthew 22:37

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. ~Mark 12:30

He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind..’ ~Luke 10:27

 

 

 

Perfection is Not the Answer!

FTH_1151Hi, my name is Moses. No, not really, but at times I feel like him. I am not eloquent with my words and grammar is my second worse subject (History is my first, I just can’t remember all those dead people and the dates they died!). But even so, I feel God’s call on my life, so strong at times, to speak, write, pray, and encourage others that I can’t silence it.

Exodus chapter 4 tells us about Moses. He was not a confiedent man. He was an insecure human that stuttered, and lacked his self worth.  He questioned and doubted God over and over in this chapter. Finally, the Lord has had enough when he tells him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”

God doesn’t need a perfect man or woman to use. He receives no glory for the one that has it all together! He takes us as we are, does the impossible, and then he receives all the praise!

Friend, don’t let your weaknesses handicap you. Stop making excuses. There are people needing to be set free! They are enslaved in this world and the devil has pulled the wool over their eyes. Believe me if God is pulling at your heart strings, He will strengthen you to do the task ahead.

Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. ~2 Corn. 3: 4-5 
I can do all this through him who gives me strength. ~Phil 4:13 

 

It’s B-A-C-K…

img_0774Well Ladies, it’s that time again! #footballseason

You have two options:

1) Complain and nag to your husband about football games he’ll watch all season… (That’s about 6 to 7 months of wasting your breath!)

OR

2) JOIN HIM!!! Buy the gear (#livelovegameday), plan football parties, and make yummy football food!

*I selected the second option early on in our marriage and I’ve never regretted it!

Women, pick your battles wisely, this one isn’t worth it!

I VOW TO ALWAYS LOVE YOU, EVEN DURING FOOTBALL SEASON ❤